• Goins Aaron, PLC of New Orleans

Yet Another Reversal

December 23 2020 | blog

Three days before the Gubernatorial runoff election in Louisiana the Plaintiff, Linda Kocher, filed suit against the Defendants, Truth in Politics, Inc. and Causeway Connection PAC in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans.   The suit was brought pursuant to R.S. 18:1463 and sought to enjoin the defendants from running allegedly false political campaign advertisements regarding potential contract awards to a company owned by the incumbent Governor's roomate at West Point.   The suit additionally sought attorneys fees in the event a permanent injunction was obtained.   Plaintiff obtained a temporary restraining order, the ads stopped runnng, and the election occurred.  

Prior to the preliminary injunction hearing the defendants filed an exception of no cause of action based on the completion of the election and the mootness of the Petition.    Both the trial court and the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal denied the exception ruling that as the Petition stated a cause of action at the time it was filed, the occurrence of the runoff election was irrelevant.   From the perspective of the lower courts there was no impediment to Plaintiff proceeding to a hearing on her requests for  preliminary and permanent injuctions, and if successful at the permanent injunction stage an award of attorneys fees.

In reversing the trial and appellate courts and granting the exception of no cause of action the Louisiana Supreme Court in a 4-3 Per Curiam decision issued on December 22, 2020 observed:

      "Because the injunctive relief sought has been rendered moot and the only remaining remedy under the statute (attorneys fees) is conditioned upon the success of a now unavailable remedy (permanent injunction), the lower courts erred in denying the exception of no cause of action.   REVERSED AND RENDERED."

The Defendants were represented in this matter before all three courts by Aaron & Gianna attorneys Bill Aaron and Anna Rainer.  Kudos on yet another appellate victory.

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